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OK, I don't know if I'm lazy or impatient, but I really need to get started using Windows Server 2008, but R2 will be out on MSDN on Friday. It is a simple update like a service pack to go from 2008 to R2 or is it like upgrading the operating system? Should I just wait till Friday?

-OR- Would it be better for me to use the RC and then upgrade to R2 on Friday? I just don't think I can hold off until then. I have projects I need to get started on right away.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

R2 is a full OS so it would be a full upgrade to go from Windows 2008 to Windows 2008 R2.

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...and you don't want to do an "upgrade" of any Microsoft OS if you can avoid it, especially servers - wipe and reload is what they teach you these days ^^ – Oskar Duveborn Aug 11 '09 at 21:21

I'd planned to just install R2 over 2008, since I had no issues raising 2003 to R2. Given the words of wisdom above... I guess I'll just snapshot the VMs first, and if that goes well, I can bump up the host OS's.

As far as the RC question goes - there's a similar question here.

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Server 2003 R2 was a relatively minor update and in many ways. The kernel didn't change, it only added certain features, SOME of which were freely available to download. (To be clear, some of the features added WERE significant (DFSR for example), but in my opinion, an OS upgrade - which 2003 R2 was called - should involve a kernel update. (It was released as an upgrade as opposed to a free update in part because microsoft wanted to make those who purchased software assurance feel they were getting their money's worth*)

Server 2008 R2 IS a kernel change as it's based on Windows 7's kernel and includes many enhancements in a variety of areas. It has been dubbed R2 to signify that the CALs you purchased for 2008 will remain valid with 2008 R2 DESPITE the kernel change.

Especially if you are upgrading a VM based 2008 server, I would strongly recommend creating a backup of the VM Hard Drive before hand (I'd recommend that regardless whenever you make a major OS change).

*Or so I've heard

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